July 29, 2014: UPS made $454 million in after-tax profits and transferred liability for future retiree healthcare costs to Teamcare.
UPS announced $454 million in profits for the 2nd quarter today. That’s down from $1.07 billion for the same period last year.
But don’t cry for Big Brown just yet. The company’s 54% drop in profits is explained by a one-time charge.
UPS posted a one-time $665 million after-tax charge on its books related to the company’s transfer of retiree healthcare benefits to Teamcare for all Teamsters who retire January 1 this year or after.
That Teamcare transfer aside, UPS made $1.2 billion for the quarter, an increase over last year. U.S. revenue rose by 5.2 percent to $8.67 billion. Daily package volume grew by 7.4 percent.
UPS Freight and supply chain revenue rose by 7 percent to $2.35 billion.
Volume is expected to grow. UPS is investing $175 million in peak operations to avoid a repeat of last year when the online sales boom caught the company flatfooted and humiliated executives in Atlanta.
In one negative, profit per package is actually down. The rapid growth in UPS SurePost was the primary cause of the reduction, Nasdaq reports.
The contract includes new language on SurePost that Hoffa and Hall claim will mean fewer packages diverted to the Post Office and more fulltime Teamster driving jobs. But will they enforce it? Click here for tips on documenting violations and pressing Hoffa and Hall to deliver on their Surepost promises.
For more press coverage on UPS profits, check out:
After a holiday shipping fiasco that left thousands of customers without packages in time for Christmas last year, United Parcel Service will invest $175 million in peak operations for the rest of 2014, the company announced Tuesday as part of its second quarter earnings statement.
UPS said it will increase operating expenses for "capacity and peak related projects," including for operations on Black Friday and software that optimizes delivery routes.
Click here to read more at USA Today.Issues: UPS
IDENTIFYING WITH STRUGGLING MEMBERS: Jakwan Rivers is challenging Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd in the union's October election. Speaking during a July 23 campaign event, he said that the union’s leadership was unresponsive to the members’ needs and that raises expected for members would not meet the cost of living. ‘You struggle every day,’ he said. ‘You work in, and for, a city that you can hardly afford to live in.’
During a July 23 meeting held by a dissident slate fighting to oust Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd, as many as 125 people filled the room and crowded the doorway of the Jackie Gleason Room of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Brooklyn as presidential candidate Jakwan Rivers kicked off his campaign.
He is challenging Mr. Floyd in an October election, contending the labor leader has run a union that is unresponsive to members’ needs while he and other board members receive six-figure salaries but many rank-and-file members suffer economically.
‘Not Getting Leadership’
“The circumstances that we’re working under and the conditions that we’re working under have brought you here today,” he said. “You look for guidance and the leadership from your union and get nothing.”
The local is currently working to secure a contract with the de Blasio administration. If it matches the pattern sustained by District Council 37, announced last month, workers would get a $1,000 ratification bonus, a 1.5-percent raise this year as well as subsequent raises of 2.5 percent in 2015 and 3 percent the following year, plus three retroactive 1-percent raises. Mr. Rivers said that would not be enough to pay for increasing rents, but predicted the local would use a new pact as a political tool.
“They’re going to lie, they’re going to drag it on, because this is what they do,” he said. “Desperate times call for desperate measures and they know we’re hungry, so they’re going to dangle money.”
Mr. Floyd, speaking to this newspaper after the meeting, said that most of Mr. Rivers’s contentions were untrue, noting executives hadn’t gotten pay raises in four years and salaries have been publicized in the union’s newspaper since 1993.
‘Raises Tied to Members’
“We get increases as the members get increases,” he said. “And that’s a policy.”
He also said that Mr. Rivers hasn’t seen the contract, and shouldn’t complain about any hypothetical bargain.
“I understand that people always want more and the union would always like to get more for its members,” he said. “However, we’re negotiating a contract for Local 237. Mr. Rivers has no idea what that contract is because it hasn’t been revealed yet.”
The meeting was originally scheduled at Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’s office, but was moved after Local 237 protested the venue because it looked like an official endorsement from Mr. Adams. Mr. Rivers said that his slate, All Members For Change, wouldn’t change the neighborhood and instead “brought it to a better place.”
With more than 20,000 members, the local covers Housing Authority and Health and Hospitals Corporation employees as well as School Safety Agents and peace officers. It also includes non-city workers in Long Island and at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Mr. Rivers and his running mate, Eunice Rodriguez, have challenged the leadership going back a decade. Ms. Rodriguez ran for president against the late Carl Haynes in 2005 and Mr. Floyd—who was appointed after Mr. Haynes stepped down in 2007—in 2009. Mr. Rivers, originally aligned with Mr. Haynes, switched allegiances to run for vice president with Ms. Rodriguez five years ago.
“...when he went into that union and became a business agent, he saw the same thing up there,” Ms. Rodriguez said of Mr. Rivers’s time working for the union. “He saw the complacency, the do-nothingness, he saw all of that. And he decided, ‘I’m out of here.’’’
Mr. Floyd contended that he personally fired Mr. Rivers in 2009 because he had an agenda counter to the local’s.
The 2009 fight, as in this cycle, focused on allegations that the union’s leadership failed to properly advocate for the members. It turned uglier in its final weeks as a flyer appeared falsely accusing Mr. Floyd of sexual harassment. Mr. Floyd ultimately took 3,647 votes to Ms. Rodriguez’s 3,325. The incumbent vice president, Richard Hendershot, narrowly defeated Mr. Rivers by 282 votes.
“I was going to retire this year, but when I saw the plight of my members, you kept drawing me back in,” she told her supporters.
Mr. Rivers took questions from the audience, which included a mix of supporters and members curious about the slate. Some said they were angered that the local’s business agents, who enforce contracts and grievances, often speak first to managers before reaching out to the union members. Mr. Rivers said if elected he wouldn’t tolerate agents who did that.
Ms. Rodriguez said the union should let members borrow from an annuity fund in emergencies.
“It’s not like it’s going to be a free-for-all, but if you have a problem, you should be able to come to your union and take care of it,” she said.
In an interview, Martin Lockwood, a slate ally and Exterminator at the Housing Authority, said the leadership is more concerned with “going through the motions” and expressed similar complaints with the business agents.
‘In Bed With Boss’
“We don’t want a union that’s in bed with management,” he said.
Jocelyn Walton, a School Safety Agent in the 108th Precinct in Queens, was annoyed members hadn’t seen raises in years—a problem shared by all city workers during Michael Bloomberg’s third term as Mayor—and was dissatisfied with a lack of resolution for a lawsuit regarding SSAs. The union sued on behalf of 5,000 SSAs in a gender-equity lawsuit. SSAs, 70 percent of whom are women, make $7,000 less than comparable peace officers.
“I know that they’ve been at it for quite some time and nothing’s really coming from it,” she said. “So, it seems like it’s just been in deliberation forever. And no one’s making any moves.”
Mr. Rivers pointed out the lawsuit hadn’t been settled, but when pressed about it by a member, he said he wasn’t briefed on the details and declined to criticize the pace.
“The way I feel about it, if you get it, you get it and you run and move on,” adding he supported elevating blue-collar workers and peace officers to uniformed status, making them eligible for better equipment, injury pay and other benefits.
Mr. Floyd pointed to the SSA lawsuit, filed a year after the last election, as proof that the leadership was working for its members outside of the campaign cycle, and said it was “relatively quick compared to most lawsuits.”
“The fact that we’re at the point where we are now, is nothing short of hard work,” he said. “And the fact that the city recognizes that we have a valid point is hard work.”
A Rivers spokesman said the slate is planning borough-wide meetings in The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island and hoped its challenge would spur encourage reforms within the union.Issues: Local Union Reform
The top official of the union representing Sikorsky Aircraft Co. employees has been accused by an independent review board of embezzling at least $13,000 in union funds.
Harvey Jackson, the president and business agent of Teamsters Union Local 1150, charged his family's cellphone bills to his union credit card and used it to buy cameras, stereo speakers, a high-end DVD player, projector and other electronics for his personal use, the report states.
Rocco Calo, the secretary-treasurer of the Stratford-based union local, said he doesn't have the authority to remove Jackson from the union's board of directors.
The independent review board, which includes former FBI Director William H. Webster, issued a report July 17 that recommends internal charges be brought against Jackson for violating Teamsters bylaws, obstructing the board's investigation and "bringing reproach upon the IBT (International Brotherhood of Teamsters)."
Embezzlement "is an act of racketeering all members are enjoined from committing under the consent order in United States v. IBT," the report states.
"I'm extremely disappointed,'' Calo said. "We have internal processes to deal with this, and we'll recommend that (Jackson) contact the (review board) and discuss a resolution."
Calo said he has not been contacted by federal prosecutors or anyone else about possible criminal charges against Jackson. Criminal charges are outside the review board's authority, but its report could become the basis for federal charges.
Thomas Carson, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Deidre M. Daly, said federal prosecutors had no comment.
During hearings held in May, Jackson claimed that purchases he made at a Best Buy in Orange or online were for the union local's conference hall and meeting room. But investigators could not find the items when they visited the Stratford facility, and Jackson in some cases gave vague or conflicting explanations for the purchases, the report states.
Cellphone bills subpoenaed from Sprint show the charges Jackson used his union credit card to pay were for phones used by his wife and daughter, investigators said.
Phone calls to Jackson's home, cellphone and his union hall office were not returned.
Jackson, a Bridgeport resident, was paid $141,744 by the union in 2013, according to Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a Detroit-based group that is challenging current International Brotherhood of Teamsters leadership.
Local 1150 represents more than 4,400 employees at Sikorsky plants in Stratford, Alabama and Florida.Issues: Local Union Reform
Shares Of A Major US Trucker Are Crashing After Management Says It Can't Find Drivers For Its Trucks
Shares in Swift Transportation, the largest truckload carrier in North America, were down 14% Friday after management warned it was going to have to invest more to address a driver shortage.
The New Jersey-based firm now says it's going to have to spend more on wages and training to hold onto and attract ore drivers.
...We were constrained in the truckload and (central refrigerated systems) segments by the challenging driver market. Our driver turnover and unseated truck count were higher than anticipated. Therefore, we sold more trucks in the second quarter to offset the impact of idle equipment, which drove additional gains on sale of equipment this period. After assessing the current and expected environment, we believe the best investment we can make at this time, for all of our stakeholders, is in our drivers. Our goal is to clear the path for our drivers by helping them overcome challenges, eliminate wait times and take home more money.
It now sees "cost headwinds" going into the second half of the year.
The American Trucking Association has warned the country is short 30,000 drivers, and that the gap could climb to 200,000 in the next decade.Issues: Freight
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAN FRANCISCO (July 25, 2014) – The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) today issued the following statement:
After several days of productive contract talks, both parties concluded negotiations on Friday afternoon. No talks will take place from July 28 to Aug. 1 so that the ILWU can resume unrelated contract negotiations in the Pacific Northwest.
The PMA and ILWU will resume their contract negotiations on Monday, August 4, in San Francisco.
The previous labor contract covering nearly 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports expired
July 1. While there is no contract extension in place, both parties have pledged to keep cargo moving.
The coast-wide labor contract is between employers who operate port terminals and shipping lines
represented by the PMA and dockworkers represented by the ILWU. The parties have negotiated a West
Coast collective bargaining agreement since the 1930s.
July 25, 2014: Less than 90 days from their election, Hoffa is threatening to trustee and merge a New York City local to try to stop members from voting incompetent officials out of office.
The International Union is threatening to merge or trustee New York Local 584, to try to prevent an election that a reform team, Local 584 Members First, is poised to win.
Local 584 represents “milk men”— drivers and production workers who deliver milk to supermarkets, corner stores and public schools—as well as other food and beverage Teamsters.
For years, being a dairy Teamster has been a route to the middle class with members making $25 to $30 an hour with union pensions. Now, the largest employer in the industry is trying to make that a thing of the past.
Elmhurst Dairy has gobbled up competitors, kicked long-timer Teamsters to the curb and replaced them with low-wage workers who start at under $10 an hour with no pension.
Two hundred fifty good dairy Teamster jobs have been destroyed.
Local 584 members turned to the International Union for help—including blowing the whistle on side deals and financial improprieties by Local 584 officials. But the local is run by Hoffa loyalists and the IBT turned a deaf ear.
So Local 584 members started to organize. They opposed the layoffs of senior members and the destruction of good middle class jobs. This summer they formed Local 584 Members First and formed a reform team to run for local union office this fall.
Support for Members First has grown quickly. Dairy Teamsters united with other food and beverage Teamsters in the local at Tropicana, Norris Foods, and Staten Island College. The majority of the local’s shop stewards have gotten behind the movement. So has Willie Whelan, the retired long-time leader of the local.
Now the International Union has stepped in—not to help members defend their jobs but to try to stop members from taking back their union.
Hoffa has appointed a personal representative to be his point man on this operation. Thom Conelius, an International Rep on Hoffa’s payroll, is no stranger to the dirty work of fighting union reformers. Last year, he teamed up with another Hoffa International Rep Kevin Currie to try to defeat reform leader Sandy Pope in the Local 805 election. They failed.
In Local 584, Hoffa and company don’t want to risk another election. Officials have talked openly about preventing “another TDU local in New York City” by merging Local 584 out of existence.
It’s been done before. Another New York City local with a growing reform movement, Local 854, was secretly merged into Local 553 before its local election last year.
Local 854 members voted against Hoffa in the last International Union election and the Joint Council leaders feared a TDU slate in the local union race. So they pushed through a quickie merger during the summer when many of the local’s membership of school bus workers are out of work.
Hoffa and Joint Council 16’s message is clear: “destroy Local 584 in order to save it.”
Local 584 members are saying not so fast. They’ve organizing to defend their right to vote, to run for office and to win.Issues: Local Union Reform
YRC Freight's fleet is in a worse state of repair than most of its main competitors' fleets, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In fact, the state of the YRC Freight fleet's vehicle maintenance is close to a threshold requiring federal intervention according to statistics from the DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Click here to read more at the Kansas City Business Journal.Issues: Freight
July 24, 2014: Hoffa claims there’s no need for an anti-corruption body in our union because corruption is a thing of the past. Meanwhile, two Hoffa campaign donors have been busted this week on charges of stealing members’ dues and taking employer payoffs.
The Hoffa administration has retained two attorneys who formerly worked for President George W. Bush to try to end the members Right to Vote, and also the Independent Review Board (IRB).
The IRB independently investigates corruption in the Teamsters. The Hoffa administration says the IRB should be eliminated because Teamster corruption is a thing of the past.
That is news to Teamster members in Connecticut Local 1150 where the IRB has charged the top official with embezzling union funds and in St. Louis area construction locals where the IRB has caught a union representative taking payoffs in exchange for sweetheart contracts.
When TDU was founded organized crime dominated the Teamsters Union at its highest levels. There’s no doubt that Teamster corruption is down since then, but that is precisely because members have the Right to Vote and an independent anti-corruption watchdog.
TDU is organizing members to defend the Right to Vote and root out corruption in the union. If you share these goals, you can say so by signing this petition.
More coverage:Local Union ReformHoffa Watch
July 24, 2014: The Independent Review Board (IRB) has brought embezzlement charges against Harvey Jackson, the president of Local 1150, which represents Sikorsky Aircraft Teamsters at plants in Connecticut, Alabama, and Florida.
Jackson is charged with using the union credit card to buy at least $13,000 worth of electronics for his personal use, including: expensive projectors, speakers, cameras, cell phones, DVD player, Blu-ray player, a laptop, Bose headphones, and more.
Jackson was paid $141,744 in salary in 2013 by Local 1150. He should buy his own electronics.Issues: Local Union Reform
July 24, 2014: The Independent Review Board (IRB) has brought serious charges against Timothy Ryan, a former construction industry union rep for employer payoffs, diverting jobs to his friends, and conducting a bogus contract vote.
Fortunately, Ryan is no longer a union rep, as his activities were exposed within the union.
Ryan served as the construction industry BA starting in 2009, until he was fired in 2012 by Local 525 principal officer Thomas Pelot, who became aware of his shameful betrayal of Teamster principles. Unfortunately, he was again hired as a BA, by St Louis Local 682 in 2013 and served until he resigned last month, with IRB charges coming.
Ryan is charged with payoff from a construction company, Stutz Excavating, in the form of free construction work at his home, and free automobiles supplied by a dealership owned by the Stutz family. He approved a substandard contract with Stutz without a secret ballot vote of the members, and even tried to extend concessions to other locals, including Local 50, for Stutz. He is also charged with manipulating the union referral list to get jobs improperly for his brother, sister, uncle, and several friends
When the IRB questioned him, he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in response to key questions involving alleged gifts from the employer.
Thankfully, his Teamster career of misdeeds appears to be over.Issues: Local Union Reform
Workers at three of the four snack cake plants operated by Hostess Brands L.L.C. have voted to unionize, according to the union representing the bakery workers.
The three plants are located in Indianapolis; Schiller Park, Ill.; and Columbus, Ga. The votes to unionize at the plants were confirmed by a spokesperson for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union July 17. The spokesperson declined to elaborate further on the vote.
Click here to read more.Issues: Labor Movement
July 24, 2014: A series of events – a march, rally, concert, and picnic – were held July 19-20 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the historic 1934 Minneapolis Teamster strike. Hundreds of people turned out to honor this historic labor victory.
Picnic goers heard speakers who talked about current labor struggles and organizing drives. The program was chaired by TDU activist and Local 120 retiree Bob McNattin as well as SEIU member Linda Leighton – a granddaughter of V.R. Dunne, one of the 1934 Teamster leaders. A couple of Teamster officials spoke, including Paul Slattery, the political and organizing representative of Teamsters Local 120.
Music was coordinated by Larry Long, a pro-labor singer. A solidarity chorus from Wisconsin pitched in as well.
The weekend kicked off with a march, sponsored by Teamsters Local 120, which included a brass band playing the labor anthem, “Which Side Are You On?”
Labor’s Turning Point
The 1934 Minneapolis Teamster strike grew into a broad workers struggle. Their slogan was “Make Minneapolis a Union Town” and they did it. The strike leaders – with no help initially from the International union – went to organize trucking across the Midwest and beyond.
A young Teamster from Detroit named James R. Hoffa joined in that organizing effort. In Hoffa’s autobiography, he stated that Minneapolis leader Farrell Dobbs was his greatest teacher.
The Teamsters union grew in the next decade from a small craft union to a mighty industrial force, and the Minneapolis strikers provided much of the inspiration and the leadership.Issues: Labor Movement
I.W.W. organizer Frank Little was in Butte, Montana, in the summer of 1917, organizing for the OBU after the disastrous Granite Mountain - Speculator Mine fire that killed 168 miners earlier that year. Early in the morning of August First, agents of the Copper Trust forced their way into his rooming house, dragged him out, and lynched him from a railroad trestle. He's buried in a Butte cemetery.
Fellow Workers will meet at Stodden Park in Butte (directions below) at noon on August 2nd for a potluck lunch and to get acquainted or re-acquainted, maybe have a brief organizing meeting; and maybe, if we're so inclined and anyone brings instruments, some music.
Then, after the potluck we'll convoy a mile or so down to the cemetery where FW Little is buried, have a brief ceremony, and hopefully some inspiring soapbox speeches and more music; and if necessary, do a little tidying up around FW Little's gravesite.
All this will be pretty informal, without a formal program or a rigid time schedule.
Remember, this will be a potluck, so bring something to eat, and enough extra to share !
By Lawrence Goun and Biko Koenig
Workers at Tom Cat Bakery sharpened their resistance against company attacks this summer with a solidarity BBQ in front of the Queens-based factory. Tom Cat's private equity owners, Ancor and Merit Capital, are seeking devastating health care cuts and other takeaways from workers in contract negotiations with the Bakery Union. Dual-card IWW members are leading a struggle to build long-term power and secure a good contract, after beating back a de-certification attempt from a mob-dominated union earlier this year.
“These out-of-town investors already have their mansions, while we barely can support our families. The cuts they're demanding are impossible and we're united against them,” said Marino Aquino, a night-shift packer at Tom Cat and a member of the IWW. “Our unity is our strength and we will keep the pressure on until justice prevails.”
SAN FRANCISCO (July 18, 2014) – The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) today issued the following statement:
After several days of ongoing talks, both parties will break from negotiations next Monday and Tuesday in order for the ILWU to convene its previously scheduled Longshore Division Caucus in San Francisco. Negotiations are scheduled to resume Wednesday.
No talks will take place July 28 to Aug. 1 so the ILWU can resume unrelated contract negotiations in the Pacific Northwest.
The previous labor contract covering nearly 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports expired July 1. While there is no contract extension in place, both parties have pledged to keep cargo moving.
The coast-wide labor contract is between employers who operate port terminals and shipping lines represented by the PMA and dockworkers represented by the ILWU. The parties have negotiated a West Coast collective bargaining agreement since the 1930s.